# Different meanings from different accentuation rules

On this site I recently read that it was possible, that the meaning of a word could change if you change the stressed syllable. The example was:

[trotz-'dem] meaning altough (as obwohl colloquial use)

compared to

['trotz-dem] meaning however.

• Are there other words changing their meaning, if the accent is changed?

I've heard, for instance ['wa-rum] and [wa-'rum] or [des-'we-gen] and ['des-we-gen] but I'm not able to distinguish if this is a normal difference due to regional accents or they have different meanings.

• I think you'll be better of distinguishing by context compared to accentuation – adibender Dec 28 '13 at 1:33
• I don't use trotzdem in the sense of obwohl, so I would certainly pronounce it incorrectly if this is true what you're saying ;) – Em1 Dec 28 '13 at 11:30
• @Em1 then I didn't understand Emanuel's comment here: "The difference between the normal "trotzdem" (adverb) and the verb last one "subord. Conj." is stress... TROTZdem vs. trotzDEM. If this stress is not made clearly, people will not understand the "trotzdem" to be the second one and the sentence will sound wrong and change the meaning." – c.p. Dec 28 '13 at 11:46
• He might be correct. But I tend to agree with adibender that context is more important than pronunciation. As said, I don't use this word in the "obwohl"-sense, so I wouldn't realise a different pronunciation. – Em1 Dec 28 '13 at 15:41
• The trotzdem-although use is incredibly rare. That's why it is sooo crucial to do the stress. Otherwise people's grammar brain will make false assumptions which it then has to reevaluate when the verb doesn't come and then everyone is like "What? What structure is that?" ... the "trotzDEM" mimics the "obWOHL"... don't know if that is the only reason but it might be – Emanuel Dec 28 '13 at 20:29

"TrotzDEM ich starke Kopfschmerzen hatte, bin ich zum Training gegangen." (i.e. in the meaning of trotzdessen, or obwohl as you said)
"Ich hatte starke Kopfschmerzen, TROTZdem bin ich zum Training gegangen." (here you could use nichtsdestotrotzinstead, or also trotzdessen, contrary to trotzdem you wouldn`t make a difference in accentuation though).